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The Foreign Investment Effects of Tax Treaties

  • Arjan Lejour

    ()

We examine the impact of bilateral and multilateral tax treaties on bilateral FDI stocks. First, we present panel regressions of the effects of treaties on FDI based on an extensive database of all OECD countries from 1985 onwards. We use geographic instruments to correct for the endogeneity of tax treaties. In contrast to many papers, we find that these treaties increase bilateral FDI significantly. The increase is about 16 percent and for new treaties this is even 21 percent. Moreover, the EU parent subsidiary directive doubles bilateral FDI stocks. Second, we analyse the effects of treaty shopping on FDI using the number of tax treaties as a proxy for the attractiveness of a country for establishing a holding. This indicator has a significant impact on FDI: twenty extra tax treaties increase bilateral FDI stocks by about 50 percent. Lower withholding tax rates of dividends do also attract FDI.

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Paper provided by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis in its series CPB Discussion Paper with number 265.

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Date of creation: Feb 2014
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Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:265
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  1. Richard Chisik & Ronald B. Davies, 2001. "Asymmetric FDI and Tax-Treaty Bargaining: Theory and Evidence"," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2001-2, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Jun 2002.
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  4. di Giovanni, Julian, 2005. "What drives capital flows? The case of cross-border M&A activity and financial deepening," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 127-149, January.
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  8. Eric Neumayer, 2007. "Do double taxation treaties increase foreign direct investment to developing countries?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(8), pages 1501-1519.
  9. Ronald B Davies & Pehr-Johan Norbäck & Ayça Tekin-Koru, 2007. "The Effect of Tax Treaties on Multinational Firms: New Evidence from Microdata," Working Papers 0721, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  10. David L. Carr & James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 2001. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 693-708, June.
  11. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 485, Boston College Department of Economics.
  12. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
  13. James R. Hines Jr., 2000. "Tax Sparing and Direct Investment in Developing Countries," NBER Chapters, in: International Taxation and Multinational Activity, pages 39-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Keen, M. & Ligthart, J.E., 2004. "Information Sharing and International Taxation," Discussion Paper 2004-117, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  15. Peter Egger & Mario Larch & Michael Pfaffermayr & Hannes Winner, 2006. "The impact of endogenous tax treaties on foreign direct investment: theory and evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(3), pages 901-931, August.
  16. Alfons J. Weichenrieder & Jack Mintz, 2008. "What determines the use of holding companies and ownership chains?," Working Papers 0803, Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation.
  17. Francis Weyzig, 2013. "Tax treaty shopping: structural determinants of Foreign Direct Investment routed through the Netherlands," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 20(6), pages 910-937, December.
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